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There is a lot of passive voice used on this wiki so I thought I'd write a quick blog about it. Passive voice is not inherently bad but tends to be over used and makes articles wordy and difficult to read. I hope that by describing passive voice, contributors will learn to recognize it and minimize it. Personally, I learned about it last year (i.e., no one ever told me about it).
There are two kinds of passive voice that I frequently see:
- Classic passive voice (direct object first)
- Step removed
Classic passive voice is when you either flip the position of the direct object and the subject or omit the subject altogether. The opposite of this is called active voice. Here are some examples (subjects are in green and direct objects are in purple:
Subject/Direct object flip:
- Active: Peppermint Butler eats the flesh of children everyday.
- Passive: The flesh of children is eaten by Peppermint Butler everyday.
- Active: Marceline drank the red from all of the bow ties.
- Passive: The red was drank from all of the bow ties.
What I call "step removed" is not a passive verb tense but a manner of wording that removes the reader from the action. Typically, this appears in the "It is revealed..." or "It is shown..." form. It creates a tone of hesitation; don't be afraid to say something directly. Here are some examples:
- Passive: It is revealed that Finn likes spaghetti and meatloaf.
- Non-passive: Finn likes spaghetti and meatloaf.
- Passive: It is shown in "Gotcha!" that Lumpy Space Princess thinks she is hot.
- Non-Passive: In "Gotcha!," Lumpy Space Princess thinks she is hot.
In sum, say what happens and be direct about it. There are no pages minimums to meet so make it short and sweet. If you can say it in 5 words instead of 10, do so. I hope this helps some. If nothing else, this can help your writing for school.
EvergreenFir 01:27, June 23, 2012 (UTC)